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Google marks its foray into education with Capital

Posted: 24 Feb 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google Capital? Renaissance Learning? education?

Google has made its foray into education with its recently launched Google Capital, investing in Renaissance Learning at a $1 billion valuation.

Whereas the five-year-old counterpart Google Venture backs early-stage firms, Google Capital focuses on late-stage companies about to be their industry's next best.

"We'll be looking to invest in companies solely as they hit their growth phase. That means finding companies that have already built a solid foundation and are really ready to expand their business in big ways," said Google Capital partner David Lawee in a blog statement.

Renaissance Learning is a K12 assessment and learning analytics company that provides cloud-based education solutions. Google's investment follows the 2011 acquisition by private equity firm Permira Advisers, making Google a minority owner of the company.

"But it's not just a monetary investment for us," said Lawee. "While many investors may contribute money and advice to the companies they support, Google Capital is going beyond that and tapping into our greatest assets: our people. They help us succeed, and we believe they can help our portfolio companies do the same."

Besides Renaissance, Google Capital has added SurveyMonkey (online survey company) and Lending Club (peer-to-peer online loan company) to its investment portfolio since its formation in 2013.

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